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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Chairman, I rise to support an amendment by my good friend and colleague from New York to cap excessive contractor compensation. Ballooning contractor costs are wasting taxpayer dollars and weakening our national defense.

While our government employees accept pay freezes, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy raised the cap on executive compensation for contractor executives by 10 percent to nearly $770,000. This, my friends, is a no-brainer: we can't afford to pay contractors twice the President's salary.

Now, mind you, this does not mean that the CEOs can't make more than $770,000. They can, in fact. In fact, they can be paid much more by their shareholders. We want to reduce the amount of money they make to no more than that of the President.

Throughout this budget process, defense contractor CEOs have threatened to fire people if they do not get what they want through the suspension of sequestration, saying that they can't afford to continue their operations unless the Department of Defense is spared from the chopping block. But if you look at the Forbes magazine list of the top compensated CEOs, you see that it is the taxpayers who can't afford them.

The Federal Government's top contractors make anywhere from $5 million to $56 million each year. While these costs are not all coming directly from the Treasury, we contribute, nonetheless, in cost overruns and single-source contracts that make them all too big to fail.

Last year we passed language that capped some of their compensation, but excluded scientists and engineers from these caps because we were worried that we would not be able to get the talent we need. But when you think about it, this argument is ludicrous. The U.S. Government isn't their only client, but we're expected to pay the whole cost for the talent they need to win contracts with us.

The Senate agrees. The Armed Services Committee unanimously passed a bill that would include this cap on contractor compensation. ``Unanimously'' means it was bipartisan.

What we're asking contractors to accept, the same salary as the Vice President, isn't unfair or unprecedented. It's time that we stop asking taxpayers to pay excessive contractor compensation.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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